Which one should I use?

I've read The Little Prince, Chapter XVIV. It has been pretty good - It has been about [...]


I've read the Little Prince, chapter XVIV. It was pretty good - It was about [...]

I know that we use Present perfect when the is not specific. But at least for me, it sounds strange saying "it has been" as opposed to "it was". Is it right?

For me, the past Simple sentence is "better" (even though it's not "grammatically" correct)

  • Why do you think the past simple is "better but ungrammatical" (a self-contradictory remark)? What does the past simple mean there, and what about the present perfect?
    – user3395
    Aug 19, 2019 at 23:44
  • I'm not sure, but usually it is said I've read Chapter X of The Little Prince, isn't it? Aug 20, 2019 at 0:13
  • 1
    Hm. I think has been (when be is not itself an auxiliary, as in has been cooked) applies to a continuing state (Bob has been here for an hour), not a completed state; so I'd say a book has been good only if I have not finished reading it. Aug 20, 2019 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


If you opine something that is 'all-time true,' you generally use the base verb.

I have read The Little Prince, Chapter XVIV. It is pretty good; it is about ...

This is because what you are stating remains correct. It's not momentary.

Something like...

I've watched Titanic, it is a good movie.

It does not matter whether the movie was released decades back. Your opinion stands true since then.

On the other hand, if you use has/have been, it immediately denotes the time range - from that point till now. Such usage is unusual in this context.

Using was is true if the event was momentary.

The movie was in Eastman color [which means, now it has been remastered].

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